Published on 2022-04-22

Earth Day: Helping Parents Make Greener Choices Year Round

On Earth Day, the world comes together to promote awareness for the health of our environment. Here at MODN, that’s something we increasingly take into consideration for our designs every day — from the materials we help our clients choose, to the product lifecycle and green, clean technology. 

But perhaps some of our most important contributions to sustainability over the years have been our child mobility designs. Helping parents ditch the car and take the bike, grab the stroller or strap on the carrier, we’ve designed products that meet parents’ demanding needs while promoting more sustainable ways for families to stay on the move.

At the end of the day, creating a greener world comes down to daily decisions. But without designing more and better sustainable options, we limit people’s access to eco-friendly choices. It’s up to the design community and the brands we work with the prioritize these decisions that consumers make, helping them choose products that are functional, empathetic, innovative and sustainable. 

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of doing just that — working on everything from the world-famous Yepp to the modular Quinny Hubb. Let’s take a look!

The Yepp Original is one of our most famous designs. Originally designed for GMG — which was later acquired by Thule — GMG wanted to create a novel product that was totally different from the child bike seats of the time that were still largely made of bulky plastics, heavy metals and uncomfortable shapes. Our challenge was to create something that was safe, lightweight and comfortable while being surprisingly innovative and design-forward.

The quirky design of the Yepp Original became instantly iconic. The use of the lightweight, supportive and colorful EVA material was also a major market innovation unmatched by anyone else at the time, giving parents an option where form truly met function. Today, it is still one of the best-selling bike seats in the world, giving parents the comfort, safety and peace of mind to put their child on the bike and go rather than jumping in the car to commute, go to the grocery store, drop kids at school and more. 

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Building on the success of the Yepp original family, the Nexxt needed to continue the legacy of innovation with a new, internationally-appealing children’s bike seat. The range of Nexxt bike seats also needed to follow the growing trend for a more lightweight and comfortable option that boasted more intuitive usability.

MODYN was tasked with bringing the same creativity and innovation to the Nexxt that we brought to the Yepp original. Inspired by bike helmets, we designed seats that were safe and comfortable using new-age EPP material which was lightweight, sturdy and durable. Plus, EPP is 100% recyclable. 

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A pioneer in safe children’s transport on bike and snow since 1956, Hamax wanted to reimagine the design and usability of the bike trailer. Impressed by the unique character and iconic design of the Yepp children’s bike seat, Hamax approached us to bring that same novelty to the bike trailer.

Our team actually looked at the Hamax bike trailer project from the point of view of the stroller industry — focusing on how we could streamline folding and packing so that it was simple and intuitive for parents. We also wanted to optimize its functionality, making it a platform for outdoor activity. This led us to design features like an extra wheel for better handling and slots for skis. But the Outback also gave parents important adaptability, allowing them to attach it to the back of their bike or use it for a day out in the city. 

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When Thule approached MODYN, the Sapling had already been on the market for some time. MODYN was challenged to not only look at the market and see where the Sapling could find its place as an everyday child carrier but redesign the Sapling to be more versatile, friendly, and stylish with a unisex appeal. 

Today the Thule Sapling is one of the most versatile child backpack carriers on the market, not only for innovations like easy-to-attach accessories and dual access to the ErgoRide child seat, but for its universally appealing aesthetic. With clean lines and refined finishings, the Sapling is totally functional for a day of hiking but never looks out of place in a museum or running errands in the city — giving parents the ability to easily walk places or hop on public transport with their child. 

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Dorrel Juvenile, a longtime client of MODYN, approached our team with a project to give parents a new, flexible solution to mobility. So we jumped on board to design a stroller that added something new to the already saturated market —designing a new, innovative stroller for Quinny with integrated slots and mono-to-duo functionality that gives parents fast, easy, flexibility.

With the novel and unconventional frame design that didn’t hinge the handle to the back wheel, we were able to create more space for storage and adapt creative and convenient seating configurations — like the iconic hop-on board. To this day, the Hubb has been a major success for the Quinny brand, being sold globally and winning a prestigious Red Dot Design award.

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MODYN’s original design for the Zapp — which at the time was the smallest foldable buggy in the world — was hugely successful for Dorel Juvenile and became an important market innovation. But a decade later, Dorrel Juvenile was looking to update the Zapp with a more contemporary look and feel that would refresh the popular stroller. 

Our team jumped on board to update the Zapp with new functionalities that allowed parents and kids to move more freely like a 4-wheel option, reclining seats and adaptability. We also updated the Zapp with contemporary lines that allowed Quinny to leverage their existing investment as well as build upon the iconic heritage this stroller already had with consumers.

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Dorrel-Juvenile asked us to create three efficient, modular strollers that balance universal appeal with local adaptability that attracts parents in different regions around the world. At the same time, they wanted us to leverage our brand familiarity and product knowledge to advance innovation and push Maxi-Cosi further — leading to features like duo-functionality, one-hand folding and the iconic ShapeOfYou memory foam inlay. 

All these features contributed to a design that gave parents and kids more comfort and flexibility to go where they want, but also reduce how much they need to use the car to get around. However, even taking easy folding into consideration is a major factor to encourage parents to make more sustainable decisions — giving them the confidence that they can easily unpack the kids and go further in their strollers when they get to their destination.

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